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Marcia Ball ~ Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Blues & Jazz' started by Flower, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Flower

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    I've seen Marcia Ball many times, she's normally at the New Orleans Jazzfest every year .. :grinthumb

    Marcia Ball (born March 20, 1949, Orange, Texas) is an American blues singer and pianist, born in Orange, Texas but who grew up in Vinton, Louisiana. She was described in USA Today as "a sensation, saucy singer and superb pianist... where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet." The Boston Globe described her music as "as irresistible celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana swamp-rock and smoldering Texas blues from a contemporary storyteller."

    Career

    Born into a musical family, Ball began playing piano at age 5, and showed an early interest in New Orleans style piano playing, as exemplified by Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, and James Booker. She has named Irma Thomas, the New Orleans vocalist, as her chief vocal inspiration. Ball entered Louisiana State University in the late 1960s as an English major. In college, she played in a psychedelic rock and roll band, called Gum. In 1970, at age 21, she started a progressive country band called Freda and the Firedogs in Austin, Texas, and began her solo career in 1974.

    Ball is known for her piano style, which shows elements of zydeco, swamp blues, Louisiana blues and boogie woogie. She began her recording career as a solo artist with Rounder Records in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2001, she joined Chicago-based Alligator Records.

    Her Rounder album, Sing It!, which also featured vocalists Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson,released in January 1998 was nominated for both a Grammy Award and a Blues Music Award as "Best Contemporary Blues Album." Ball also received the 1998 Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year" and "Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards."

    In 2002 she won “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” for her album Presumed Innocent. She won the “Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year” in 2004 for her album, So Many Rivers, the same year she won “Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year-Female.” She won the Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards again in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Her 2003 Alligator release, So Many Rivers, was nominated for a Grammy, as was her 2005 release, Live! Down The Road and her 2008 release, Peace, Love & BBQ. She was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1990.

    Ball, who has established herself as an important player in the club scenes in both New Orleans, Louisiana and Austin continues to work at festivals and clubs throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.



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  2. Flower

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  3. Flower

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  4. Flower

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  5. Flower

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  6. Gearjammer

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    While I haven't delved into her discs, I did have the opportunity to hear her live. They have a weekend blues festival not too far from me, and they simulcast it on one of the local radio stations. I got to hear a good chunk of Marcia Ball's set and really enjoyed it.

    As a side note, the festival she was at was the North Atlantic Blues Festival. I'm not sure if it was the same year, but it was the same festival where Little Milton made his final performance, passing away a few weeks later.
     
  7. Flower

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    Marcia Ball's 2010 Tour Schedule ...

    I'm not lucky this year .. I've see Marcia many times at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and she's great. One year, as Marcia was closing her set .. Irma Thomas jumped on stage and sang several impromptu duets. :grinthumb
     
  8. Foxhound

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    I wonder if Marcia can play the accordion though?
     

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  9. Flower

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  10. Flower

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    Marcia Ball with Clint Eastwood ...

     

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